23 October 2015

Packing for a late summer break

We are off to Spain for some last minute summer sun during half term and as usual a lot of thought has gone into planning what to take! The forecast is looking good at 21c most days, however I am guessing the temps will drop off a bit in the evenings and some days it looks as though it could be a bit overcast. Obviously this presents me with a bit of a dilemma but hopefully I have covered most eventualities.......if not I will have a fab excuse to hit the shops (which is what I'm planning on doing anyway whilst the hubby golfs anyway!).

Starting with my travelling outfit! We have a really early start with a flight at 6.30am so I'm wearing trews, trainers and layering up with a t-shirt, sweatshirt and my Muubaa biker jacket which will no doubt be very useful for the evening chill whilst we are away!

Muubaa jacket, past season, Zara grey sweatshirt, ancient, Zara army trousers, S/S15, Converse

As per usual I am sticking with my mostly black uniform with a splash of grey, khaki and red just to ring the changes. I would never normally pack any jeans for a summer holiday but I figure on this trip it's best to take one pair just in case!

Zara grey sweatshirt, ancient. Mango black top, past season Topshop grey tee, ancient
Pull & Bear Paris sweatshirt, past season, Primark red Cola top, past season.
Zara black tee. Whistles cashmere blend cardigan, ancient, Topshop black cami, past season
Next strapless top, ancient
Zara jeans, S/S15, Gap Boyfriend shorts, S/S 15, Vero Moda shorts, ancient

Poolside clobber!

Gap grey dress, ancient, ASOS strapless playsuit S/S 15, H&M hat, past season
Rayban Wayfarers, Havaianas, Primark tote, current

The shoes........

Topshop Finest shoes, Kurt Geiger Kads, past season

Not forgetting the bags!

The Jacksons London Smile bag, H&M gold clutch, ancient, Primark tote, current.
 Anya Hindmarch Gracie bag, past season

Eveningwear attire.....

H&M Maxi dress, Mango Jumpsuit, Warehouse cold shoulder top, Whistles trousers, similar here
Topshop pendant, Topshop Finest shoes, Anya Hindmarch Gracie bag

Zara lace dress, past season, Mango tribal print dress, Mango one shoulder dress, past season
Anya Hindmarch Gracie bag, Kurt Geiger Kad sandals

Do you think I missed anything? I am being overly cautious with the weather in mind or have I got the packing spot on? I welcome any tips from the more seasoned travellers amongst my lovely readers! Obviously I have left enough room in the cases for a purchase or 2! ;0)

My outfits from the past few days.....the Muubaa jacket is certainly earning it's keep at the moment!

Muubaa leather jacket, similar here
Zara long sleeve t-shirt, past season
Zara army trousers, past season similar here
Converse, here

Muubaa leather jacket, past season similar here
Cos sweater, current here
Topshop Jamie jeans, here
H by Hudson boots, similar here

Uniqlo sweater, current here
Uniqlo shirt, similar here
Gap original fit jeans, past season
Adidas Gazelles, here

Topshop shirt, current here
H&M sweater, current here
Whistles trousers, similar here
Oasis leopard print pumps, ancient

One last outfit today sporting my gorgeous new Donna Ida cashmere sweater courtesy of  @HeroStockbridge after winning their fabulous Instagram competition to celebrate their first year of trading! As you can see....it slots perfectly into my wardrobe and could well now be coming away with me!

Here are all my goodies!

That's all from me for the next week or so, I  really am in need of a break from pretty much all things web related! I will try to post my outfits of the day on Instagram...internet connection permitting. I look forward to sharing my Spanish purchases with you when I get back! 


18 October 2015

my a/w knitwear hits and picks!

It's the time of year where I have a few knitwear purchases under my belt. Like buses, 3 have come along at once! We have really seen a dip in the temperatures these past few days and the forecast is not looking good for the foreseeable. I've kicked off my collection of winter wonders with a statement piece! I've been coveting this gorgeous Cos sweater for a while now (I'm holding Frances and Sue wholly responsible for this!) I thought it was high time I injected a bit of colour into my mostly monochrome A/W wardrobe so I plumped for this lovely berry shade.

Stay with me while I digress a bit......got to share my bargain of the year, they just happen to look superb with the Cos sweater. I went to Clarks Village outlet centre during the week and I've had a lot of luck in the Whistles outlet shop.....who excelled themselves this trip as I picked up this fab pair of satin cropped peg trews for just a fiver! Don't you just love that kind of bargain?! These will be fab for the party season, which is now just around the corner.

Cos sweater, current here
Whistles trousers, outlet purchase previous season but similar here and here
Topshop Finest shoes, current

Back to the sweaters! The birthday fairies didn't listen to my plea for some Uniqlo cashmere but I still had a gap in the wardrobe for a navy v neck jumper so I decided to go for some more of their trusty merino, which I have to say I feel will be far more easy to care for as they easily go in the machine!

Sticking with basic knitwear shapes, I bought this oversize dark marl grey H&M pullover as it will basically go with everything in my wardrobe and I love the shape!

As you can see there are many outfits crying out for this style!

H&M sweater, current here
H&M trews, past season similar here
Converse, here

A close up of the sweater.....view from the top!  

What else is on my radar knitwear wise? Well I'm still cogitating about the Topshop Breton from my last post here. There is something similar from Mango which I'm going to look at first before I decide whether or not to purchase (thanks to Sue @highstreetedited for alerting me to the fact that the reviews weren't too good on the Topshop one).

Another Topshop jumper that I love is this little khaki number. I think this would look ace with black skinnies and tan Brogues a la Audrey Hepburn?!

I am yet to find a cream cable sweater that fits the bill but I rather like this Warehouse offering....

I also love this from Topshop, though it's not technically a sweater, more of fleecy sweatshirt. This would be fab for lounging around in on a cold and dreary Sunday!

My finger has been hovering to click away on this one for the past couple of weeks! This would be ace for layering over my Missguided maxi dress!

If I didn't already have a grey Zara sweater similar to this M&S one, it would be coming home with me!

And last but not least....the nearest you'll ever see me in anything resembling a Christmas jumper! 

Have you been stocking up on sweaters? Anything brands on the High Street excelling in knitwear department? What styles have caught your eye?

A quick outfit round-up as always!

Zara jacket, past season but similar here and here from Mango
M&S Autograph sweater, ancient but similar here
Topshop Jamie jeans, here
H by Hudson Mirar boots, similar here

Mango jacket, current here
Zara t-shirt, past season
H&M jeans, past season, similar here
Converse Hi-tops, here
Lulu Guinness bag via eBay

I am hoping to squeeze a couple more blog posts in before I go on holiday next Sunday! How much harder is it to pack for a warm break at this time of year when you've already put the majority of your summer stuff away? I'll keep you informed! ;0)

Back soon! Michelle xx


15 October 2015

a simple yet chic celebrity style steal!

When I spotted this picture of Diane Kruger, I literally did a double take as whilst perusing the rails in Topshop yesterday as I spotted some excellent replicas to make up this chic outfit!

You can shop this whole look in good old Toppers for a fraction of the cost of the Isabel Marant sweater Diane is wearing! This beauty is now top of my wish list!

How gorgeous are these boots too?! These would be fab for a rainy day school run!

Simple but perfect! I think I could shop my own wardrobe for similar pieces though I admit defeat, I reckon it's time to get the tights out since the bare-leg weather seems to have left us for good.....but!! In a couple of weeks I can see me sporting this ensemble with a pea coat and opaques....very parisienne non?! Much more wearable for the school run as well!

It really is a short and sweet one from me today....only an outfit or 2 to share from the past couple of days!

Zara sweater, past season similar here
Zara jeans, current
Converse, here
Balenciaga bag, similar here

Primark jacket, past season similar here
H&M sweater, current here
H&M jeans, past season similar here
Converse, here
Lulu Guinness bag via eBay
A view from the top of this outfit so you can see the texture of the H&M sweater.....I love it!

There is always room in the wardrobe for another Breton.....am I tempting you with this one?

12 October 2015

A great fashion read.....

and another fab style icon who is new to me is Amanda Brooks author of Always Pack a Party Dress. I received this fantastic book for my birthday from my fabulous friend Claire (who is very stylish and creative herself, see here!) and I have been devouring it's content ever since! It's part autobiography as Amanda has enjoyed an amazing career in fashion but every few pages she shares some amazing styling tips! For those of you who may have enjoyed a bit of Konmari-ing lately, I think this another book that will really appeal to you! Amanda has a wealth of knowledge from her brilliant career in New York working in various capacities with top designers and stores but has now moved to the UK and swapped her glamorous occupation for a more simple life in the English countryside. She had to decide what clothing from her extensive wardrobe would survive a gigantic cull and work for her new lifestyle. It makes for fascinating reading and she imparts some brilliant advice!

It really is a great insight into fashion by someone with a wealth of experience as she talks about what has influenced her style and she even shares some great advice for anyone looking to secure a job in fashion....it has left me truly inspired! This would make a fantastic gift for Christmas for those of you who want to give your friends a real treat! Or better still pop it on your Santa's wish list as I have popped her first book I Love Your Style on mine!

In my humble opinion one of the best parts of the book is at the end Amanda lists her top pieces of clothing and accessories that she wouldn't want to be without which got me thinking and compiling a list of my own! Some are old and I've had for years and I hope to have for years to come. There are a couple of new season items where I may have found the holy grail of an elusive item that eluded me previously. It's interesting to look over my chosen pieces, be warned it's a very neutral colour palette but I guess that's what makes these clothes my wardrobe staples. Here goes......

DKNY leather jacket, ancient via T K Maxx, one of my best ever bargains at £35, similar here
Zara camouflage jacket, ancient still one of my absolute favourites
Zara biker coat, I've had this one a while but it's my go-to and will come out year after year
Mango tribal print dress, a S/S15 purchase that has taken me everywhere this summer, here

Topshop white shirt current, the only white shirt I've owned that I truly love, brilliant shape
Zara t-shirt, current. I have this in white, black and grey. I will be investing in other colours when I go to Spain at the end of the month as they are amazing, v-neck suits me best and I love the boxy shape
Topshop Jamie black skinny jeans current, wardrobe staple no-brainer
Zara army trousers, S/S 2015, by far my favourite alternative to jeans, similar here

Warehouse silk blouse, been in my wardrobe for at least 10 years and only cost me a tenner, I bring it every year for one event or another, similar here
Next leather look pencil skirt, fab with the Warehouse blouse or just as chic with the Topshop white shirt or the Zara v-neck tee so versatile and easy to ring the evening out change with this piece, similar here

Onto my top 5 shoes/accessories

Balenciaga bag, the more worn it looks the more I love it, it's been worth every penny! Similar here
Converse, couldn't live without them, here, here and here
Rolex, my most treasured possession as it belonged to my dad.
Chanel bag, 25 years old and still going strong. A classic, another worthy investment, similar here
H by Hudson Mirar boots as brilliant in Summer as in Winter as these as fab with a dress or skirt as they do with jeans, this colour is just so versatile, similar here

So, I'd love to hear if would you find it easy or hard to whittle down your favourite pieces. What are your wardrobe classics that come out year after year? I am all ears! Maybe there is a gem or two I've forgotten?!

What I've been sporting these past few days.

Zara jacket, past season
Zara white -shirt, current
Topshop Jamie jeans, here
Converse, here
Lulu Guinness bag, via eBay

H&M sweater, current here
Sainsbury's Tu pleather skirt, past season, similar here
Topshop Finest shoes, current
Chanel bag, ancient similar here

Zara shirt, past season similar here
Gap always skinny, similar here
Adidas Gazelles, here
Lulu Guinness bag via eBay

DKNY leather jacket, past season similar here
ASOS Missguided dress, current here
Converse, here
Lulu Guinness bag via eBay

ASOS Brave Soul shirt, past season similar here
Zara v-neck t-shirt, current here
Uniqlo sweatpants, past season, similar here
Converse, here

Zara tux , current here
Alexander Wang t-shirt, here
Zara army trousers, similar, here
Converse, here 
Balenciaga bag, similar here

Have you read any other inspiring fashion books? I would love to hear if you have come across any other interesting reads!